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Day 68: New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

Here's a run-down of the past week:
Day 60: Edmundston, NB to Florenceville, NB (137 km)
Day 61: Florenceville, NB to Fredericton, NB (142 km)
Day 62: Fredericton, NB to Moncton, NB (176 km)
Day 63: Moncton, NB to Sackville, NB (50 km)
Day 64: Sackville, NB to Charlottetown, PEI (125 km)
Day 65: Charlottetown, PEI to New Glasgow, NS (75 km)
Day 66-68: Rest days in New Glasgow, NS.

The ride into Edmundston was pretty rough and I ended up breaking a spoke on my rear wheel, but I got it fixed at a local bike shop. Many thanks go to David and Jonathan, who stayed past the 9:30 pm closing time of the store to make sure that my bike was fixed. On the way to Fredericton, I got my 5th flat tire just outside a service station and then a couple days later, I got my 6th flat tire after arriving in Sackville. I'm turning into quite a pro at changing tires.

I was hoping that all my rear wheel woes would be however, but I broke another spoke just before getting on the ferry out of PEI. Thankfully, we met a man named Gunther and his partner Kristl, who graciously took the time to replace my spoke on the road so that I could complete the ride into New Glasgow. He even sent me off with a bottle of Alexander Keith's for some "extra calories".

Gunther noticed that my wheel was spinning funny. It was no longer a perfect circle, but had a slight bulge on one side, which was not a good sign. I could probably finish the trip on it, but I would have to deal with the constant ga-DUN, ga-DUN, ga-DUN bumpiness of riding on an imperfect wheel.

I spent the rest days in New Glasgow trying to get the website back up and responding to 500 emails that have accumulated in my inbox since the beginning of the trip. I rode my bike into town and found that the only repair shop in the entire county was in the process of moving. "Sorry, we are moving and will be closed from September 1st - 4th and will be re-opening on September 5th at (new location)." My heart sank when I read this, because this meant that I would have to either ride until I found another bike shop, which could be up to another 100 km eastward, or take a bus into Halifax with my bike.

Thankfully, the guy next door noticed my despair as I sat on the curb trying to figure out what to do and phoned the owner of the bike shop to see if they would be willing to do some emergency repairs. An hour later, I found myself at the new location of Pictou County Cycle watching their head mechanic Kevin replace the spoke on my wheel and then "true" it with incredible speed. I was further awed by how quickly he changed the tube of my tire-- from start to finish he had everything replaced and inflated within 5 minutes, whereas it usually takes me about half an hour.

I learned that all my broken spokes and flats had likely been the result of riding on an uneven wheel for several hundred kilometres. Though I could probably make it to the end of the trip with it, I would probably face several more flat tires. I decided to play it safe and replace the rear wheel, so things should go smoothly over the next few days.

I've been watching the weather reports carefully over the last few days and it looks like we may be catching some remnants of Hurricane Ernesto tomorrow morning as it is expected to rain between 5-10 mm. This isn't too bad, especially when compared to Sault Ste. Marie back in early August when we had about 60 mm of rain dumped on us in a single day.

These rest days in New Glasgow have afforded me the time to really reflect on this entire journey and I find myself feeling overwhelmed with emotion. There are so many thoughts and feelings that flood through you when you're only a few days away, only a few hundred kilometres, from the goal. Have you ever had a dream of something? Something bigger than yourself, something wonderful. Something that may even seem crazy sometimes, but deep down inside, you have the feeling-- a knowing, that one day, it'll happen. This is what this bike ride has been to me. This has been my lifelong dream.

By the time we finish, it will be 72 days, over 7,000 km, 3 million pedal strokes and a summer that has challenged and deeply changed me.

We are on schedule to reach St. John's, Newfoundland on day 72, Thursday, September 7th. From there, we will spend Friday packing up our gear and then we fly out on Saturday, just in time for my birthday on Sunday. 4 more sunsets!


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Comments (1)


I am really excited for you. I can imagine the intensity, excitement, and joy of what the "finish line" will be like.

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